Yesterday, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I got to spend a few hours with my nephew Jack. I was struck, as I’m always struck when I spend time with him, by how much he teaches me about life. There are of course the practical lessons I’ve learned from him such as to eat your favorite food first at meals (you might be full later!) – but also some that are much deeper. Jack, here are the things you’ve taught me about living life that I’ll try my best never to forget.
1) Do what you love.
Why waste time doing things you don’t like? Jack always has a clear idea of how he wants to spend our time together (i.e. “Have I showed you my Marble Tower yet?”) and we don’t waste time deciding on what to do. We just get to it! And if/when it’s time to move onto something new, Jack is never afraid to say so. He does what he loves, and I strive to do the same.
2) Always be inquisitive.
In adulthood, it’s easy to grow wary of asking questions that make us come across as foolish or ignorant. Who has time for worrying when we could be learning something new? Jack peppers me with questions all the time about everything under the sun. We like to tell children “There are no dumb questions,” but often forget this ourselves.
3) Ask clearly for what you want.
When Jack wants or needs something, there’s no guessing and there’s no confusion. Of course the answer to his requests isn’t always yes, but there’s never any mystery about what his needs are. We could all stand to get better at this important life skill.
4) Play without fear or worry.
My favorite part of my time with Jack yesterday was when he showed me his new kid drum set that he was recently given as a present. As he beat on those drums and cymbals (wearing hearing protecting headphones of course), the look on his face was pure joy. No hesitation or worry of failure. Pure delight. I would love to take that attitude into every part of my life.
Do you have any children in your life? What can you learn from them? Tell us in the comments below.